The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Hannah Collins

Before starting at the DPU I had already completed a MSc in Psychology and worked for many years in hospitality in Auckland, Melbourne and Berlin. In New Zealand, I volunteered as a support worker for refugees resettling in the local community. When the 2015 so called 'refugee crisis' took off, I was living in Berlin and decided I needed to change paths.  I chose the MSc Social Development Practice mostly because of the practical aspects of the course, and because I wanted to live in London. I was extremely privileged and fortunate to be able to make these choices.

I graduated from the masters in 2017. It was one of the best things I have ever done. The opportunities offered through the engagement with local communities in London and Brazil were a great challenge. I was lucky enough to work with Citizens UK on my dissertation, where I explored refugee resettlement in various communities here in the UK. The teaching was constantly engaging and helped my to think critically beyond my own world views. I looked forward to every class - the learning, the teaching, and the other students were all inspiring. Seeing communities that were actively engaging with diversity and fighting for social change was the antidote to the increasingly depressing world news

Coming from New Zealand, I was then able to apply for a two year working visa in the UK. The job market was incredibly difficult - it took about 6 months to get my current job. During that time I did various temporary jobs and tried to stay positive.

I am currently working as a Research Assistant with Professor Henrietta Moore. I do a lot of reading, research and writing on various topics such as renewable energy in Lebanon, universal basic services, financial technology and prosperity for Africa. I feel very lucky to be able to keep learning and thinking on the job and I look forward to engaging more practically with social development in the future. SDP has shaped the way I think and approach my work and my life.